Saturday, November 26, 2005

Avalance - new software distribution solution

Somasegar talking about Avalance:

The frequent Community Technology Previews (CTPs), Betas and other kinds of information across the different products often end up causing a virtual ‘avalanche’ of information flow for our customers. These information 'avalanches’ pose problems related to congested servers, network traffic and download speeds.

To address these issues, Microsoft Research (MSR) is working on innovative technologies with the codename "Avalanche". Avalanche provides a PC-based, fast, internet-scale software distribution solution. The Avalanche model addresses internet software-distribution problems using network coding which ensures that any piece uploaded by a given peer can be of use to any other peer. This research paper and these slides provide more information on network coding and Avalanche.

The Developer Division has a pilot project under way using Avalanche to download CTP bits for our Most Valuable Professionals.

Sounds very interesting, I definitely want to try this out once the pilot project is up and running...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

SmartPart - load ASP.Net 2.0 usercontrols in SharePoint 2003

Jan just released a new tool - "Son of the smartpart":

Here’s some good news for everybody that has been waiting for it: I’ve just uploaded the brand new Son of SmartPart to the GotDotNet site! First of all, what is the Son of SmartPart? This version of the SmartPart will allow you to run ASP.NET 2.0 Web User Controls and ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts in SharePoint sites. Since WSS SP2 you can run your SharePoint sites on the .NET Framework version 2.0, and from now on you can use the power of the new platform to extend SharePoint.

  • Download the latest release from the GotDotNet site here

  • Watch the screencast demonstrating the deployment

  • I just installed it and everything works just great....Nice job, Jan

    Updated 26/11: Jan created a SharePoint site behind to demonstrate some webparts.... you can still download the SmartPart by going directly to the Smartpart Gotdotnet workspace.

    Geek dinner with Robert Scoble

    From David:

    Robert Scoble is visiting Belgium on on December 8th. So if you want to talk about corporate blogging & its effects, discuss how to deal with blogs, why blogs are hot - or talk about any other geek topic you are invited to join us on December 8th 2005 for the Brussels Geek Dinner. So, if you live in the area, or know other geeks in the area, you might tell them we'll be having this geek dinner! Please find the details below:

    What: Brussels Geek Dinner
    Date: December 8th 2005
    Time: 6:30pm
    Where: Serenata, Zaventem
    Who is welcome?: Everyone! ... but please let me know!

    Send an email to David or leave a comment on his posting when you are going. I know I am....

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    Dolmen Jobevent

    Interested in working at Dolmen - check out the Dolmen Jobevent

    PS All of you SharePoint & ASP.Net developers, definitely come and take a look...

    Cannot create an SPS Area after installing WSS SP 2

    Patrick blogged it first ... but here it goes again:

    When you attempt to create a new area in SharePoint Portal Server 2003 after applying Windows SharePoint Services Service Pack 2 you receive the following error message:
    An error has occurred in the portal site. Contact the portal site administrator for assistance.

    The file timestamps on the SharePoint SQL script files is incorrect. These files are located in :\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\SQL.
    Because the timestamps are incorrect WSS SP 2 did not update these files and subsequently the stored procedures for the content databases were not updated.

    1. Remove the *.SQL files in location :\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\SQL.
    2. Go to Add/Remove Programs, Windows SharePoint Services, Repair/Reinstall.
    3. Select 'Detect and Repair errors in Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 2.0 installation'.
    4. After repair completes you will need to force an upgrade so the stored procedures on the content databases are updated.

    To complete this step, use the Stsadm.exe command-line tool to force an upgrade of the content databases.

    To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.
    2. At the command prompt, type the following lines, and then press ENTER after each line:
    cd /d %commonprogramfiles%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\60\Bin
    stsadm -o upgrade -forceupgrade
    3. Type exit to quit Command Prompt.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Feature Pack for SQL 2005 - Microsoft .NET Data Provider for mySAP Business Suite

    I just stumbled on this download - Feature Pack for SQL 2005 . The Feature Pack is a collection of standalone install packages for SQL Server 2005. It includes:
  • Latest versions of redistributable components for SQL Server 2005

  • Latest versions of add-on providers for SQL Server 2005

  • Latest versions of backward compatibility components for SQL Server 2005

  • One of the interesting providers in this feature pack is the Microsoft .NET Data Provider for mySAP Business Suite. This provider lets you create an Integration Services package that can connect to a mySAP Business Suite solution and then execute commands to access SAP data via supported interfaces. You can also create Reporting Services reports against a SAP server.

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 released on MSDN

    Microsoft CRM 3.0 is available on MSDN Subscriber Downloads so certified partners and customers with MSDN Universal can download the RTM ISO images. More info about MS CRM is available on the Microsoft Business Solutions site

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    Installed Google Analytics on my blog

    This evening Google announced Google Analytics, a free page tag-based measurement service. The goal of Google Analytics is to help online businesses gather the data they need to improve their site, marketing and product merchandising. After agreeing to the terms of use, you get a little javascript snippet that you can insert into the head tags of your html pages and then you have to wait ...

    Waiting for data:
    Analytics has been successfully installed and data is being gathered now. Your first reports will be ready within twelve hours.

    PDC05 - All session recordings online

    All the sessions from this year's Professional Developers Conference are hosted online - go to

    Team-Based Development of WSS and SPS Applications - My 2 cents

    On MSDN there is an article about how to deal with SharePoint development environments, Team-Based Development of WSS and SPS Applications.

    Some more suggestions for doing team based development:
  • Create a Virtual PC template with SharePoint, VS.Net and everything you need installed

  • Make copies of this Virtual PC template and rename the Windows 2003 Server hosted in your Virtual PC for every individual developer

  • Setup the Virtual PC to use a shared network connection and deploy your Visual SourceSafe database within your LAN

  • Use Visual Sourcesafe for everything you can imagine : webparts, site definitions, web services, setup projects, etc...

  • Use scripts and setup files to keep your development, test and production environment in sync

  • Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    My blog is a spam blog - what the ...

    Since Google upgraded Blogger on Saturday, I don't seem to be able to post anymore directly from w.bloggar. Why?

    "Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog (or in short splog). (What's a spam blog?) ".

    I guess I should take my blogging frequency down to avoid mistakes ;-).... More info about this here: Why are all my posts being set to drafts.

    Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and whitelisted so that it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and sign back in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

    MCMS 2002 SP2a - It is there already

    From Stefan Gossner: MCMS 2002 Service Pack 2 is now ready for download!

    This is really nice - I just blogged about it on Saturday and it is there already - JOPX on SharePoint, MCMS, Office 2003 and SOA: Waiting for MCMS SP2.
    Related articles:
  • 906142 - How to obtain the latest Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 service pack

  • 906145 - Content Management Server 2002 Service Pack 2 installation information

  • 894691 - A list of the bugs that are fixed in Content Management Server 2002 Service Pack 2

  • Glitches with MCMS 2002 Service Pack 2

  • mscms

    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Windows Workflow Foundation Beta 1.2 - VS.Net 2005 RTM compliant...

    It seems that Microsoft released a new built of Windows Workflow Foundation ( abbreviated WF) - WF 1.2. Two important things mentionned on the download page:
  • This release is primarily a prerequisite for certain parts of Office 12 beta

  • WF Beta 1.2 uses .Net framework 2.0 RTM, ... (just what I was waiting for ...)

  • Waiting for MCMS SP2.

    Today I installed Visual Studio.Net 2005 RTM on my portable (It installed like a charm...). But because I also have MCMS 2002 (SP1a) installed on my machine I was wondering what would happen with my MCMS sites. Good news, so far everything seems to be working...

    But I'm still waiting for MCMS SP2 so that I can finally use .Net 2.0 code in my MCMS pages and use SQL 2005 as well. For more about MCMS SP2 check out MCMS Service Pack 2 on MCMSFaq and also take a look at Stefan's blog

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Mendocino - Link Office to SAP

    I saw a very cool webcast last week about Mendocino (Recorded webcast available as well as the slide deck) . "Mendocino" is a code name for a joint development by Microsoft and SAP. Mendocino will link SAP functionality directly to Microsoft® Office applications. If you want to know more take a look at A preview release will available by the end of the year and beta1 is planned for March 2006.

    P.S. The slide deck also showed something called "SharePoint Report Center", I wonder what that is.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    BIWUG - 3d Meeting 9th november

    For those of you into Information Worker stuff and living in Belgium or the Netherlands - I can definitely recommend the monthly BIWUG meetings. In the first I talked about IW stuff at PDC (Presentation available here). In the second meeting we had demos of Groove and K2.Net. On the 9th of november we have another exciting meeting coming up:

    Here is the agenda:

    18.00 - 18.35 Registration + Meet the President
    18:35 - 19:15 Presentation VSTO - BJ Holtgrewe – Senior Product Manager (Microsoft Corp.)
    19.15 - 20.00 Presentation “Son of SmartPart” (aka SmartPart vNext) - Jan Tielens/Patrick Tisseghem
    20.00 - 21:00 Round the Table
    21.00 - ... Drink

    More info

    How much is your blog worth?

    Business Opportunities weblog just created an applet which shows the worth of your blog based on Tristan's Louis research. Funny...

    My blog is worth $22,017.06.
    How much is your blog worth?

    Bill created a summary for SharePoint blogs worth

    VMWare Player

    I got this info last week - quite interesting. VMware Player is free software that enables PC users to easily run any virtual machine on a Windows or Linux PC.

    Debug timing

    Source Debug Timing (and a little design pattern, to boot):

    In almost every bit of code I write that's actually destined to go into a real system, I find myself start to look for places to optimize code. But having read the writings of Rico Mariani, I am weary of premature optimizations. So what do we do? We measure, of course.
    A full-fledged profiler is often overkill when I just want to check how long a method runs. Sometimes a few quick debug-printouts will do the job just fine. I've written hundreds of Debug.WriteLine("Start block") and Debug.WriteLine("End Block") statements, and it get wearisome typing the same commands, formatting the same start and end times, again and again.
    So without further ado, he is the complete code for my little DebugTimer helper class, implemented using the Disposable Design Pattern of which I am so fond. Use it in good health.
    public class DebugTimer : IDisposable
    private DateTime start;
       private string label;
       private static int level = 0;

    static DebugTimer Start (string Label)
          return new DebugTimer(Label);

       private DebugTimer (string Label)
          this.label = Label;
          this.start = DateTime.Now;
          string message = string.Format("{2}{0}: {1}", this.label, "Starting", new string(' ', level));

       public void Dispose()
          TimeSpan time = DateTime.Now.Subtract(
          string message = string.Format("{2}{0}: {1}", this.label, time.ToString(), new string(' ', level));

    EDIT: I forgot to add a little usage sample here. Should be pretty clear, but just to cover all my bases:

    public void SomeMethod (
    using (DebugTimer.Start("My Code Block"))
             // Code to time.